Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) encourages the allied health membership and community members to be involved in local activities as part of World Suicide Prevention Day.
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote action to prevent suicide globally. Local, national and international events and activities are held during this time to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, to improve education about suicide and to decrease stigma surrounding suicide.
As part of this day, IAHA, the national organisation for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health workforce reaffirms its strong commitment to addressing suicide prevention.
There is a significant amount of research documenting that the rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is occurring at twice the rate of non-Indigenous Australians, with young people particularly vulnerable. Nicole Turner, the Chairperson of IAHA says that, “the pain and loss when losing someone to suicide is profound. The loss of a person to suicide has a widespread impact of grief extending across communities, States and Territories.”
IAHA commends the Government taking action to reduce the rates of suicide, establishing a ‘zero’ suicide target. IAHA CEO Donna Murray notes that the appointment of Christine Morgan as National Suicide Prevention Adviser is an indication that the Government is taking the issue seriously. Donna Murray says, “this appointment is a significant step towards addressing suicide. Suicide prevention requires a dedicated focus and a whole of Government approach led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Suicide is complex and at times extends beyond mental and physical health. However, there are opportunities for the allied health workforce to provide appropriate care. All allied health professionals need to be both clinically competent and culturally responsive to provide trauma informed care and to promote good mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.
IAHA strongly believe that a culturally responsive allied health workforce is imperative in order to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, receive the health and wellbeing care required to significantly improve outcomes.
Director of Strategic Policy and Research
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